Nadal Defeats Krajinovic To Reach Indian Wells Quarter-finals
Spaniard eyes his fourth title in the desert
Rafael Nadal was large and in charge on Wednesday at the BNP Paribas Open, dismissing Filip Krajinovic 6-3, 6-4 to reach the Indian Wells quarter-finals for the first time in three years.
The three-time champion’s weight of shot kept the World No. 113 anchored several feet behind the baseline and stretched the Serb wide in the court. The 33-time ATP Masters 1000 champion broke in the second game of the first set to race to a 3-0 lead. Facing his first break point of the tournament, Nadal dropped serve for 3-2 but immediately broke back.
In the second set Nadal broke in the third game and dictated thereafter, never giving his opponent an opening back into the match.
Having dropped a combined six games in his first two wins over Jared Donaldson and Diego Schwartzman, Nadal wasn’t fully satisfied after conceding seven games today. “I probably played a little bit worse today than yesterday. Maybe because of the conditions, [it was] windier out there today. But in general terms [it’s] been a positive victory again. Happy the way I played.”
Nadal is now one win away from keeping his part of the bargain to set a blockbuster semi-final with Roger Federer, who plays his fourth-round match later today against Britain’s Kyle Edmund.
Although World No. 2 Nadal is more than 3,500 points behind No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the ATP Rankings, should he win the title he will overtake the Serb in first place in the ATP Race To London, a predictor of the year-end ATP Rankings.
Nadal next faces the winner of Russian Karen Khachanov and American John Isner.
Did You Know? Nadal reached the Indian Wells semi-finals or better for eight straight years between 2006 and 2013, when he won the last of his three BNP Paribas Open crowns.
Inaugural ATP Cup and Doha will open the new season
The ATP has announced the release of its 2020 ATP Tour calendar, a season featuring 63 ATP tournaments across 29 countries, in addition to the four Grand Slams, as well as the introduction of the ATP Cup at the start of the year for the first time. The full 2020 ATP Tour calendar can be viewed here.
The 2020 season will kick off with the inaugural ATP Cup, a new team event that has been strategically integrated into the calendar to serve as a major launch to the ATP season. The ATP Cup will take place as a 10-day event in parallel across three Australian cities – Sydney, Brisbane, and one additional city to be announced in due course. The players’ team event, held in partnership with Tennis Australia, will feature 24 countries competing for US$15 million in prize money, the biggest prize purse of any ATP tournament on the calendar, and a maximum of 750 ATP Rankings points at stake.
Other changes in the calendar include: – The ATP 250 event in Pune, India, moving from week 1 to week 5 in the ATP calendar, alongside Montpellier and Cordoba. – The ATP 250 event in Sofia, Bulgaria, moving from week 5 to week 39 in the ATP calendar, alongside Chengdu and Zhuhai. – The 2020 season also sees the return of Adelaide in week 2 of the ATP calendar for the first time since 2008. – ATP has an open application in process for an ATP 250 grass court event in Europe to take place the week before Wimbledon, currently held in Antalya.
The season will culminate with the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Nitto ATP Finals, first held in Tokyo in 1970, as The O2 in London hosts the season finale for a twelfth consecutive year.
“The 2020 ATP Tour calendar will provide a global stage for the world’s greatest players to battle over 11 months for prestigious ATP titles, coveted ATP rankings points, and the ultimate prize of finishing the season as year-end ATP Tour No.1,” said Chris Kermode, ATP Executive Chairman & President. “2020 will also see the launch of the ATP Cup, an event that has all the ingredients to become something very special at start of the season, and we look forward to seeing it come to fruition through our partnership with Tennis Australia.”
In addition, all ATP tournaments on the 2020 calendar will feature the Shot Clock, one of many innovations stemming from the award-winning Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, a tournament that will continue to serve as a platform to trial innovations and promote the future stars of the sport.
The ATP Tour has attracted record audiences on site, on television and online in recent years with more than 4.5 million fans attending tournaments, and almost 1 billion viewers tuning in throughout the season.
How Much Better Is Nadal On Clay Over Hard Courts?
Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analyses the numbers behind the Spaniard’s performances on clay and hard courts
How much better is Rafael Nadal, who seeks his fourth title at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells this week, on clay courts over hard courts?
With the hard-court Miami Open presented by Itau and the clay-court Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters looming large in the next month, it’s a topic that naturally gets a lot of attention at this time of year.
The Spaniard has never won in Miami, but he has taken the title in Monte-Carlo a record 11 times, including the last three in a row. The results are night and day.
On the surface, Nadal is historically about 20 per cent better on clay, winning 92 per cent (415-36) of his clay-court matches and 77 per cent (442-130) of his hard-court matches throughout his career, which represents a 19.5 per cent increase.
But when you break matches down to points – the building blocks of our sport – you can make a solid case that the Spaniard is just 2.7 per cent better.
An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of Nadal’s winning percentage when returning serve on clay and hard uncovers that he does perform better on clay, but only marginally better than hard.
The data set comes from ATP Masters 1000s from 2011 to 2018 and the Nitto ATP Finals. The win percentages are calculated from returns put back in play, therefore aces and return errors are not included.
FIRST SERVE RETURNS
It’s jaw-dropping to uncover that Nadal is able to forge a winning percentage (50.6 per cent) on clay when he is able to get the first serve back in play. What’s interesting is that he is not that far away on hard court either, with a gap of just 2.1 percentage points, or 4.3 per cent.
First Serve Returns
Deuce Court Wide
Deuce Court Middle
Deuce Court T
Ad Court T
Ad Court Middle
Ad Court Wide
SECOND SERVE RETURNS
The gap in win percentage is actually closer between hard and clay against second serves, with Nadal winning 2.5 per cent more on clay (2.1 percentage points).
Second Serve Returns
Deuce Court Wide
Deuce Court Middle
Deuce Court T
Ad Court T
Ad Court Middle
Ad Court Wide
With first serves and second serves combined, Nadal has won 53.7 per cent of return points on clay and 52.3 per cent on hard, representing a 1.4 percentage point gap, or a 2.7 per cent increase on clay.
Nadal is the ATP career leader on clay with both first serve and second serve return points won. On hard, he is ranked 23rd best against first serves, and 14th best against second serves.
We play a sport of incredibly small margins. A point here or there in Miami for Nadal over the years could have definitely led to more silverware to sit beside his impressive Monte-Carlo haul.
Win over No. 1 Djokovic is the latest highlight of the German’s career
Philipp Kohlschreiber played a World No. 1 in only his second tour-level match. Seventeen years later, and on his 12th attempt, he finally got a win over the top player on the ATP Tour – defeating five-time champion Novak Djokovic in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open.
In his on-court interview, when asked how it felt to see his hard work still paying off at this stage of his career, the 35-year-old German joked to laughter and applause, “What do you mean, this stage? I’m just starting my career!”
In reality, Kohlschreiber has been making his mark on the ATP Tour since his debut in 2002. Among his accomplishments: reaching a career-high No. 16, winning eight singles and seven doubles titles, and becoming only the third German in the Open Era to record more than 400 match wins.
Here are five things to know about Kohlschreiber ahead of his fourth-round match against Gael Monfils on Wednesday in Indian Wells.
1. He’s done his best at home Of Kohlschreiber’s eight singles titles, five have come in his native Germany – Munich (2007, 2012, 2016), 2011 Halle and 2014 Dusseldorf – and two have come in his current residence of Kitzbuhel, Austria (2015, 2017). Four of his seven doubles titles have also come in Germany or Kitzbuhel.
“They are all special, but the first 5 Things To Know About Philipp Kohlschreiber in Munich in 2004 stands out, playing in front of the home crowd and in front of family and friends, was especially something special of course,” he said.
Since making his tour-level debut in 2002 in his hometown of Munich, Kohlschreiber has compiled a 123-65 match record in Germany (.654), including a victory over then-No. 2 Rafael Nadal in the 2012 Halle quarter-finals. In Kitzbuhel, he has a 18-9 match record (.667) – and on his most recent tournament appearance in 2018, he played a match on his wedding day.
2. He almost got that first win over a World No. 1 two years ago Kohlschreiber first confronted a World No. 1 in only his second tour-level event, in May 2002 in Hamburg, and lost to Lleyton Hewitt 7-5, 6-4. He had an 0-11 record against World No. 1 opponents entering Tuesday’s match against Djokovic, but came oh-so-close to snapping that winless record two years ago.
With his 400th tour-level win on the line, Kohlschreiber held seven match points against No. 1 Andy Murray in the 2017 Dubai quarter-finals. Murray denied the German, prevailing 20/18 in the 31-minute second-set tie-break on his eighth set point, and eventually triumphed 6-7(4), 7-6(18), 6-1. “I’ll probably never play another tie-break like that again,” Murray said afterwards. “I have been playing on the tour for 11, 12 years now, and nothing’s been close to that.”
Read & Watch: Murray Downs Kohlschreiber In Dubai Thriller
3. Indian Wells has been good to him in recent years Last year at the BNP Paribas Open, Kohlschreiber reached the quarter-finals before falling to eventual champion Juan Martin del Potro. He upset second seed Marin Cilic in the Round of 32, snapping a 12-match losing streak against Top 10 players.
A year before that in Indian Wells, Kohlschreiber celebrated his 400th match win. “It feels great, it means that I’m pretty old and have been on the tour for a long time,” he said at the time. “I hope I get the chance to go for 500.”
With victories this week over Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Nick Kyrgios and Djokovic, Kohlschreiber now has 456 match wins.
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4. He’s in good company Kohlschreiber is only one of three Germans to have won 400 or more matches in the Open Era. The other two? Boris Becker (713) and Tommy Haas (569), the current BNP Paribas Open Tournament Director.
“It really shows that Philipp been a part of the game for a long time and so consistent,” said countryman Mischa Zverev. “He’s been close to the Top 10 for many years and has beaten many top players. He can play well on any surface and I think he should get more recognition because he’s done a lot for the sport as a whole.”
5. He’s okay with flying under the radar Kohlschreiber considers himself fortunate to be part of a generation that includes the likes of Roger Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, and can appreciate that he’s not in the spotlight at all times like his peers.
“I’m a very quiet guy,” he said. “Of course you wish to have maybe a Top 10 ranking once in your career, but if I’m not able to achieve that, I’m very happy how my life is going on.
“I’m still able to walk on the street or go to, I don’t know, McDonald’s and there is just a few guys saying, ‘Oh, that’s maybe Kohlschreiber.’ I’m able to do that. I don’t know if Roger or Rafa can do that. On this side, I’m very happy that I can really enjoy my life peacefully.”
But should more fame come with more success, Kohlschreiber would be fine with that, too. “Maybe I can turn around my career here. I don’t know. I’m still in the tournament feeling great, playing good tennis. Let’s see. You know, if you win the whole thing here, it might change,” he said with a smile.